The Deep is kind of unique in that it is a book inspired by a song: “The Deep” by clipping.. I’ve included it below in case you’d like to take a listen. The Deep is about Yetu, who belongs to a race of creatures that live beneath the surface of the sea, the Wajinru. They are descendants of pregnant African slave women who were thrown overboard by slave owners.
The pain of the Wajinru people goes so deep, they cannot bear to remember these events more than once a year, at an event they call The Remembering. In the mean time, the memories are held by one single Wajinru, the Historian. For now, that historian is Yetu.
But Yetu is overwhelmed by these memories. They are drowning her, killing her, even with how painful they are. Sometimes she becomes so lost in these memories she cannot eat, she cannot sleep. She wishes she were dead. Yetu is determined to get rid of the memories.
The writing is beautiful. The way the world beneath the surface of the sea is described is perfectly haunting, the cold currents, the whale song, the way the light pierces the surface. It’s everything I would hope for in a book that is set in the sea.
I also loved the world building and history of the Wajinru people. How they learned language, how they rescued their kin from the water, how they explored the sea and passed along their memories. Although this novella is relatively short, there is a lot to digest.
At it’s core, it’s a story about memory and history. How important it is to carry on those memories, to not forget about where you come from. How memories outlive us and persist beyond time, how an entire culture can be erased with no one to remember it.
Despite it’s dark premise, The Deep was a story full of hope. People uniting, overcoming a painful history together, sharing the burden. I read The Deep in just a day, and I’d recommend the story to anyone interested in the premise.
clipping. – “The Deep”